Meet The Supporters: Scott Oberlander

This is part of our weekly series where we meet some of the people who will be joining the Assembly Line this year. Keep an eye out every Wednesday for a new segment! Please reach out to Westen on Twitter if you are interested in taking part in this. 

Westen Shelton: When did you start watching soccer, and what teams do you support?

Scott Oberlander: I grew up playing soccer from an early age. But I didn’t really watch soccer until the 2002 World Cup in South Korea. I was rooting for Germany because of my German heritage and watched every game they played. Sadly Die Mannschaft came up short to Brazil and Ronaldo in the final, but that tournament created a lifelong fan out of me. So when I was looking of club team to support I naturally gravitated to the Bundesliga. Where I fell in love with Borussia Dortmund’s aggressive play style under Jurgen Klopp. BVB also has some of the best supporters in the world, and they truly love their team. In addition to Dortmund, I also support both the United States Men and Women’s teams.

WS: What is your favorite live soccer moment ever?

SO: My favorite live soccer moment actually happened about a month ago, when Michigan State beat James Madison to advance to the College Cup for the first time since 1968. The weather was definitely less than ideal, with rain and near freezing temperatures. But there was no way I was going to miss a minute of that match. It was my first time attending a game where the stakes were so high. And after conceding the first goal to James Madison, it was excitingto see Michigan State storm back and score the next two goals to get the win.

WS: What are you most looking forward to about the Ignite season coming up?

SO: Of course, I hope that we put a team on the pitch that will compete for a championship this season. And I’m excited about the attacking play style Coach Nate Miller is planning to implement. But more Importantly, I’m looking forward to helping establish a soccer culture that is entirely unique to Lansing.

WS: What would the ideal Lansing specific soccer culture look like to you?

SO: That’s really hard to answer this early the process because I feel like it will develop organically once the season gets in full swing. But I really hope we can create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome, and people want to come to games to be a part of it. So on game day, Cooley Law School Stadium will be the spot to be in Lansing. It would be pretty awesome if we could pack the place on a regular basis. Especially since we have one of the biggest stadiums in the league.

WS: What are your main hobbies outside of soccer?

SO: Besides soccer, I really enjoy spending time outdoors and exploring nature. Last summer I went on a 7-day solo backpacking trip across Isle Royale, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. This upcoming summer I hoping to combine my two passions. So I’m planning to travel to Richmond and Greenville for our first two matches. With the games only being a week apart, I’m going staying in the Virginia and Carolina area to do some hiking and backpacking.

WS: What do you enjoy in particular about backpacking?

SO: For me, it’s all about unplugging and living in the moment. Nowadays it’s way too easy to get stuck in a routine and switch on autopilot. Which makes time seem like its flying by because your brain just turns off. When I’m out backpacking I leave all of my stress at home. I live entirely in the moment and time just slows down. It’s just a nice break from the everyday routine, and I always come back more focused and refreshed.

WS: Tell me something you love about the Lansing area.

SO: I love how Lansing has a lot of big-city amenities while still maintaining a small town feel. The city has done amazing of attracting small business to take root in our community. With so many fantastic restaurants, breweries, and distilleries popping up there’s always something new to try. There’s also a variety of events and festivals going on year round. And now with Lansing Ignite coming to downtown, it definitely an exciting time to live in Lansing.

WS: What would you tell anyone who is interested in joining the Assembly Line?

SO: It’s not very often you get the chance to support a team in its first season of existence. So join us in creating something great right here in Lansing. Unlike most professional sports teams in America where the fans just sit and drink beer most of the game. The Assembly Line will be on its feet cheering and getting rowdie for 90 minutes, and the team on the field feeds off that energy. Just imagine a college sports student section but on steroids.

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